A suicide bomber disguised in a burqa killed four French soldiers in an assault in eastern Afghanistan today, reported Reuters.
The attack took place in the eastern mountainous Kapisa province, an area mostly controlled by French troops serving in the NATO coalition, said Reuters.
Officials said the violence -- which has been claimed by the Taliban -- also left five soldiers wounded, according to Agence-France Press.
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Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi described the attack as "unfortunate" in comments to Reuters, saying the troops were targeted at a little bazaar "by a suicide bomber wearing a burqa."
French President Francois Hollande today said France would pay "national homage" to the victims and promised to ensure high security for the 3,500 French troops stationed in Afghanistan. He also said the withdrawal of the nation's forces -- expected to be completed by the end of the year -- will start next month, said AFP.
The deaths are the first French fatalities in Afghanistan since Hollande was elected last month. France's new leader also requested that Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian leave tomorrow for a visit to Afghanistan, reported AFP.